The Minister of Justice emphasises the protection of children in criminal proceedings at the MLA diplomatic conference
At the opening of the MLA diplomatic conference, Minister of Justice dr Dominika Švarc Pipan emphasised that states and the international community are responsible for establishing interstate mechanisms for the investigation and prosecution of international crimes, and drew attention to the protection of children in these proceedings. During the conference, representatives of the Ministry of Justice are to actively participate in the negotiation process.
Impunity for international crimes remains a serious threat to the rule of law as a key building block of democratic societies, said the minister. Therefore, the states and the international community as a whole are obliged to continue to strengthen efforts to end impunity. “It is necessary to bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure justice for the victims”, emphasised the minister at the diplomatic conference for the adoption of the Convention on International Cooperation in the Investigation and Prosecution of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes and other International Crimes (MLA Convention).
The initiative by Argentina, Belgium, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Senegal and Slovenia to adopt the MLA Convention stems from the states primary responsibility for prosecuting international crimes and the need to improve the effectiveness of investigations, prosecutions and international cooperation at the global level. Minister dr Švarc Pipan warned that in all such procedures it is necessary to ensure comprehensive and effective support and protection of children as participants in criminal proceedings.
“Approaches adapted to children are of vital importance whilst respecting the rights, dignity and the best interests of children”, emphasised the minister, and further mentioned the Slovenian “Children’s House” as one of the best practices, which offers children a safe place with comprehensive medical, psychological and social support; forensic interviews with children who are victims or witnesses of a crime are carried out by specially trained criminal law experts. “We are happy to share our experience and knowledge in support of similar efforts at the national or international level”, concluded the minister.
The MLA Convention will establish interstate mechanisms for the investigation and prosecution of international crimes, and enable international cooperation and international legal assistance between future contracting parties in this area. During the conference, representatives of the Ministry of Justice are to actively participate in the negotiation process.